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  • Bradfordwhite electric heater question

    Been a while. Need a little help. Pulled out a rheum 50 gallon dual element water heater. Put in a 50 gallon dual element Bradfordwhite. Customer claims that they run out quicker than before. Went out, drained heater, removed element, used camera to check dip tube. All is good. Checked ohm's on elements. 12.7 on both. Checked power, All is good. Thermostats seem to be functioning. Any thoughts?
    "don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been"

  • #2
    Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

    maybe the set temperature is lower one the new one. a scaled up heater will tend to run hotter, too.
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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    • #3
      Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

      What were the thermostats set on the old one? Also I have ran into some electric heaters that someone installed 120V heating elements into the tank and ran only 120V to the heater. When I replaced the heater with a new one of course it has the 240V elements and its trying to cook the water with only 120V. One other think to check if it is wired for 240V (double breaker) check the voltage anyways. I also ran into a situation that one side of the breaker was faulty and not turning on back on after the change out.
      Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
      Ron's Facebook
      A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
      Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
      Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

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      • #4
        Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

        That's what I would say also. Check the voltage coming to the unit. Then turn up the t-stats. They are set low from the factory. I turn all of them up on all makes of electric water heaters. If they still complain do a standard volume & temperature tub test. Show them they are getting exactly 50 gallons of water at said temperature. Maybe they need newer shower heads with less volume?

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        • #5
          Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

          Update: We went back out and turned the lower thermostat up. Checked all voltages again, and all seems to be working properly. Here is the email that I just got, what do you think?


          You came by today and adjusted the temp gauges. We were hoping that would do the trick. But we still ran out of hot water this evening. Let give you a quick breakdown of the water we used this evening. Had the kitchen sink on for 8-10 minutes washing dishes and baby bottles. My wife bathed the boys upstairs while I was washing dishes. Each of the boys showers lasted about 8 minutes. While bathing the second one the hot water completely ran out in the final few minutes. So the total continuous time we were running the hot water was roughly 20 minutes before it ran out. I really appreciate your continued help with this matter. Trust me, I'm getting just as sick of bothering you about this as you are hearing from me about it. Is there anything else you can think of?
          "don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been"

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          • #6
            Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

            The electric hot water tank cannot provide them with the amount of water they require in the given amount of time.

            Crank both thermostats to MAX. Verify there is no failure of any tempering valve, should one be installed. If these do not fix the problem, a gas fueled appliance may be required.

            The only other thing i can think of is that the new elements may be 3500W versus the old standard of 4500W.
            ~~

            ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

              Using his numbers I get about 14 minutes of shower at 2.5 GPM= 35 gallons used.

              At the same time about 9 minutes at the kitchen sink at 2 GPM= 18 gallons used.

              Total gallons used= 53 gallons until hot water loss on a 50 gallon electric.

              Estimates of course. Might be able to help it with lower flow aerators, showerheads, higher temperature, and mixing/thermostatic valve at heater. Watch the T&P and TXT too.

              They'll balk at all of this though saying "The old one was all we needed...." Doubt it though.

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              • #8
                Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

                You may try changing the t-stats, making sure they are at identical
                settings and that the spring clips are holding them tight to the tank.

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                • #9
                  Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

                  Rule of thumb for a residential heater is approximately a 70% supply of tank capacity before the temperature drops below 100 degrees. Remember its winter time and your incoming water is much colder than summer time.

                  Do a bucket test aftet the heater has come up to temperature. A 50 gallon heater should supply approximately 35 gals. At 100 and above. Your recovery for the first hour is more, but that doesn't come into play when doing a demand test from a full flow tub spout.

                  Explain to them that in order to push hot water out of the heater, cold water has to come in. Its like putting ice cubes in the coffe cup. The only way to get 50 gallons of hot out of the heater is to shut the water and drain the tank. But that's not how it works in real life. They might understand that if you explain it to them that way.

                  The majority /95% of my single residential heaters are gas. They range in capacity from 40-100 gallons. From 38, 000 - 80, 000 btu's. My work truck is not a race car, neither is their water heater.

                  Rick.
                  phoebe it is

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

                    tank booster pro
                    Cash acme makes these, it should run right at $100 at your local wholesaler. Sell them one and raise the thermostat setpoints.
                    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

                      DO NOT TURN THE T-STATS UP ALL THE WAY! The water heater is working as it should. It's not your fault, it's not the water heaters fault. Your customers is expecting unlimited hot waster, he doesn't get it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

                        why not? yes, there's a scald hazard. but if the stats werent supposed to be turned up to that temp, they wouldnt be designed so they could be.
                        ~~

                        ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

                          Water Heater T-stats are not always accurate. There are a number of variables which I'm sure you know, could turn your water to steam and turn your water heater into a ticking time bomb or could cause significant damage to property, it can also cause severe burns and even kill. Telling someone to turn their T-stats up all the way is irresponsible and dangerous. I guess it's to each their own but I would never say it.


                          Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                          why not? yes, there's a scald hazard. but if the stats werent supposed to be turned up to that temp, they wouldnt be designed so they could be.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

                            Going to agree with Ironranger here, without a tempering valve theres no way I'd advocate raising the thermostat setpoints
                            No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Bradfordwhite electric heater question

                              Originally posted by ironranger View Post
                              Water Heater T-stats are not always accurate. There are a number of variables which I'm sure you know, could turn your water to steam and turn your water heater into a ticking time bomb or could cause significant damage to property, it can also cause severe burns and even kill. Telling someone to turn their T-stats up all the way is irresponsible and dangerous. I guess it's to each their own but I would never say it.
                              The thermostats also have safeties that should shut it down in the event of an overheat, just as a natural gas/lp tank does. One would expect the the 'master plumber' who originally posted the question would also know this and ensure that there are other safeties installed.
                              ~~

                              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                              Comment

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